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BOGOTA， Aug. 7 (Xinhua) -- Bogota， Colombia's capital， celebrated its 478th birthday this week with cultural events and sports programs for hte disabled to highlight the government's social inclusion policies.
Lively competitions were carried out in six Paralympic sports which showed the will， resilience and above all the de-stigmatization of all kinds of physical disabilities.
The competitions were part of the 20th edition of the Summer Festival， a cultural open-air event that brings together many people in Bogota to show diversity within the city.
Victims of the armed conflict and those that fell in clashes or due to anti-personnel landmines explosions， are one of the main emphases of these programs.
Different foundations that work to defend the rights of disabled people joined together for the festival to offer the athletes competition spaces where their rehabilitation， re-integration and reconciliation programs could be executed comprehensively.
"Sport is a tool that allows all disabled people， and above all the people that are going through re-insertion processes， to find an emotional space which allows them to feel like human beings within society again，" Francisco Javier Osejo， director of the Fundacion Arcangeles' Sport Power Project， told Xinhua.
This program takes care of 260 disabled people， 22 percent of whom have been victims of war in the South American country.
Soldiers， police and civilians affected by war in Colombia make up part of this initiative. "Through state organizations such as Victims Unit， the Colombian Agency for Re-integration and the ombudsman， our foundation intends to place sport as an indispensable tool in their recovery，" added Osejo.
Wheelchair tennis， basketball and rugby， sitting volleyball and goalball were all sports that athletes from various national leagues and representatives from countries such as Venezuela， Paraguay and the United States， used to show the importance of sport when it comes to people regaining their confidence after suffering some time of disability.
This was the case for Javier Perdomo， a former soldier in the Colombian Army who was injured during a confrontation with troops from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) in 2008， and today he could be seen in the sitting volleyball overcoming the consequences the war left on his body.
"This sport has shown me that disability is only in the mind. It is only in the head. At the moment my life revolves around this sport，" Perdomo told Xinhua.
For Perdomo， forming part of Bogota's sitting volleyball team， a sport which has been included in the Paralympic Games since 1980， has been key to him realizing that what he went through in the conflict， despite its rawness， was not in vain.
"I have always been sporty but I have only really been able to excel since I joined this team. The sensation of winning a medal and being admired by other people has meant that my life serves as an example of achievement and dedication，" said Perdomo.
In Bogota， 240，000 people have some type of physical disability， according to official statistics.
The figure is permanently increasing due to the fact that rehabilitation programs have become more visible in recent years， and all the time more people are registering to receive some sort of state support.
Concerts， nocturnal bike rides and birdwatching walks in the city's nature spots completed the program in the Summer Festival's most inclusive edition in Bogota.
By Matt Walsh
MELBOURNE， Dec. 12 (Xinhua) -- A better， widespread understanding of the benefits of globalization is needed to reverse the "protectionist" trend harming the future of free trade， Helen Sawczak， National CEO of the Australia China Business Council (ACBC) told Xinhua on Monday.
Sawczak， who was present at the Boao Forum for Asia on The Future of Globalization in Melbourne last week， said the recent trend away from embracing free trade - championed by leaders in western nations such as the United States and the United Kingdom - has thrown the future of multilateral free trade unfairly into doubt.
"Globalization is currently facing some challenges in the light of certain protectionist trends such as Brexit and the Trump presidency in the U.S，" Sawczak told Xinhua in an interview.
"However， the consensus at the Boao Forum for Asia Melbourne Conference was overwhelmingly that globalization is irreversible and beneficial for all nations. A memorable quote from one of the speakers was: 'If you're a patriot， you're an internationalist'."
Sawczak said more transparency in regards to the vast benefits associated with globalization and liberal free trade were needed to convince not only lawmakers， but everyday citizens who are not in favor of free trade deals.
She added that many of the issues people seem to have with globalization can be "countered" by facts， while the host of benefits associated with free trade are not being properly explained to small business owners， farmers and producers of other goods and services.